There are many factors that impact what you need and how you will feel after surgery. Here are some frequently asked questions about your care after the procedure is complete.
What happens after my surgery?
The period after surgery is known as the recovery period. This is typically split into phases called Phase I and Phase II.
Phase I occurs immediately after surgery when your anesthesiologist will transfer you from the operating room to the recovery room (also called Post Anesthesia Care Unit or “PACU”). Your PACU nursing staff will monitor your vital signs, degrees of consciousness, pain levels, and hydration status until all are stable.
Once all the goals of Phase I recovery are met, you will be transferred to Phase II if you are having an outpatient procedure or to your hospital room if you are admitted to the hospital.
Your family will be notified of your condition once you are admitted to the PACU. However, they will not be able to see or join you until you reach Phase II or your hospital room.
How long will I stay in the PACU?
Although the average stay in the PACU is approximately one hour, the duration is highly variable and influenced by such factors as the nature of the procedure, length of surgery, type of anesthetic, pain control and your baseline health status.
What about driving home after outpatient surgery?
Even though short acting anesthetics are used, you must refrain from operating any heavy mechanical machinery including driving any motor vehicle for a minimum of 24 hours after your procedure. Thus, you will need to have a responsible adult present at discharge to escort you home. For further information regarding outpatient surgery, please refer to the link/brochure below.